Matt Jones, founded Poverty Resolutions to raise awareness and combat poverty in Haiti
Just before beginning his MBA at Penn State’s Smeal College of Business, Andrew Jones ’12g visited Haiti to learn about the country’s needs―and what he could do to help develop long-term solutions to meet them.
During his February 2010 trip, Andrew witnessed the extreme poverty and hardship the nation’s residents experienced in the aftermath of the earthquake. It further impressed upon him the need to make a difference. So, he teamed up with his brother Matt Jones ‘11g, also a Smeal MBA student, and together they dedicated themselves to telling America about the needs of those in poverty in Haiti and around the world.
They founded Poverty Resolutions, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the eradication of “dollar-a-day poverty.” Because more than half of Haitian citizens live on less than $1 per day (as well as nearly one-sixth of the world’s population), Matt and Andrew decided that they needed to experience dollar-a-day poverty to understand their plight. So, in May 2010, the brothers and two friends made a 28-day commitment to live alongside earthquake refugees in Port-au-Prince on only $1 a day.
They documented their experience in order to raise awareness about what it’s like for the millions living in extreme poverty. Over the past year, they have delivered numerous presentations to more than 6,000 students throughout Pennsylvania about poverty and what can be done to combat it. In August 2012, they released a 28-minute documentary, One Dollar Poverty, on YouTube, which documents their experiences in Haiti. Through Poverty Resolutions, the Jones brothers are providing sustainable solutions in Haiti by supporting childhood education, funding and distributing microfinance loans, and supporting small business owners. To date, they’ve raised more than $200,000 to spread awareness and to combat poverty in Haiti.
This past summer, with the help of many volunteers, Poverty Resolutions doubled the size of an elementary school, oversaw the building of a tilapia farm, planted trees, worked to install a drip irrigation system, and drastically improved the conditions for the children of the House of Hope orphanage. They remain passionate about raising awareness and have been excited by the outpouring of support they have received thus far. To learn more, visit http://povertyresolutions.org/.